Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the Carpentarian Antechinus Pseudantechinus mimulus, Butler's Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri and Northern Hopping-mouse Notomys aquilo, 2004 - 2009 (Woinarski, J.C.Z., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NT:Survey protocol for Butler's dunnart Sminthopsis butleri (Ward, S., 2009a) [Information Sheet].
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Butler's Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri (Ward, S. & J. Woinarski, 2012) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
NT: Listed as Vulnerable (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012)
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Vulnerable (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2011.2)
Scientific name Sminthopsis butleri [302]
Family Dasyuridae:Polyprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Archer, 1979
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Butler's Dunnart is a small, carnivorous marsupial with soft, grey fur above and white fur underneath. This species grows to 8.8 cm long and has a thin tail growing to 9 cm long (Strahan 1998).

The only records of this species are from Kalumburu in the Kimberley in WA (three specimens, in 1965/66), Bathurst Island (two specimens in 1991 and one specimen in 2000) and Melville Island (one specimen in 1913, one specimen in 1996 and one specimen in 2000) (Woinarski et al. 1996, 2000).

Butler's Dunnart has not been recorded from the Kimberley since the original collection, despite survey effort since. No animals were captured from Bathurst Island in a survey in 1994 (Maxwell et al. 1996; Woinarski et al. 1996).

The data collected is not adequate to allow for predictions of population size, though Woinarski and colleagues (2000) state the species is probably widespread but at low densities over both the Tiwi Islands, Bathurst and Melville.

The Bathurst Island specimens came from Eucalyptus-Callitris open forest on sand, and from coastal sand habitats (Melaleuca forest). The Kalumburu specimens were from flood debris on black soil plains. One Melville Island specimen was found in saturated white clay soil, and surveys of the Tiwi Islands in 2000 found another Butler's Dunnart in a clay-loam pebbly soil area (Woinarski et al 2000). There are no apparent correlations between the habitats at the localities where Butler's Dunnart's have been collected other than that all are within 20km of the coast and most occur on sandy soils (Maxwell et al. 1996; Woinarski et al. 1996).

The specimen used to describe the species had eight nipples (Archer 1979).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing natural vegetation and associated habitat changes National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the Carpentarian Antechinus Pseudantechinus mimulus, Butler's Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri and Northern Hopping-mouse Notomys aquilo, 2004 - 2009 (Woinarski, J.C.Z., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the Carpentarian Antechinus Pseudantechinus mimulus, Butler's Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri and Northern Hopping-mouse Notomys aquilo, 2004 - 2009 (Woinarski, J.C.Z., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the Carpentarian Antechinus Pseudantechinus mimulus, Butler's Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri and Northern Hopping-mouse Notomys aquilo, 2004 - 2009 (Woinarski, J.C.Z., 2004) [Recovery Plan].

Archer, M. (1979). Two new species of Sminthopsis Thomas (Dasyuridae: Marsupialia) from northern Australia, S. butleri and S. douglasi. Australian Zoologist. 20:327-345.

Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris (1996). The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. [Online]. Wildlife Australia, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/action-plan-australian-marsupials-and-monotremes.

Strahan, R. (Ed.) (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

Woinarski J.C.Z., P.A. Woolley & S. Van Dyck (1996). The distribution of the Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri. Australian Mammalogy. 19:27-29.

Woinarski, J., K. Brennan, C. Hempel, R. Firth & F. Watt (2000). Biodiversity Conservation on the Tiwi Islands: Plants, vegetation types and terrestrial vertebrates on Melville Island. Palmerston: Parks and Wildlife Commission of Northern Territory.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Sminthopsis butleri in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:20:47 +1000.